The air here has cooled after the storm so summer is officially winding down. I’m a bit depressed about it but I have seasonal depression so I always am. Time to start chugging vitamin D. I wonder if I can do some commemorations for durafujo for Halloween.


September 21

Today’s entry is technically dated on September 20, as part of Seward’s diary for that day. But there’s also a chapter break between yesterday and today, and the events definitely cover the next day, AND it makes for an awfully long day. Thus I’m delivering it to us today.

I really don’t agree with Dracula Daily’s editorial choices but I guess I just have to handle it.

They schedule the funeral for Lucy and her mother together for “the next succeeding day” which I don’t know if that means today now or tomorrow the 22nd, or maybe the 23rd?

Dr. Lobotomy handles “the ghastly formalities” which does seem pretty horrible as a friend and suitor. Even he seems kinda creeped out by how professional the undertakers are about the whole affair. One comes along to tell him how Lucy “makes a very beautiful corpse” and “she will do credit to our establishment!” Which is a pretty fucked up thing to say.

I’ve just hated Seward from the beginning but he really did it all for Lucy and she couldn’t have asked for anyone better. So, compliments where deserved. He still hasn’t lobotomized anyone—that we know of at least. Though I see now those weren’t really popular until the 1930s. I bet in his middle-age he’ll be doing some lobotomies.

Van Helsing stays close to Lucy through it all. They have no time to call anyone to a proper funeral, and Arthur has his father’s funeral “the next day,” which I assume means that Lucy’s is the day after that. The two doctors handle all the paperwork too, Van Helsing reminding Dr. Lobotomy that he is a doctor as well as a lawyer. He wants to be on the lookout for papers like the one Lucy wrote before she died, and any of Mrs. Westenras as well.

Dr. Lobotomy finds Mrs. Westenra’s lawyer contact in her belongings and starts collecting her papers to send off. Van Helsing has found Lucy’s letters and her diary that he’ll talk to Arthur about later. He suggests they go to bed.

They visit Lucy first, where “death was made as little repulsive as might be” by the undertaker. I wonder if this era of the full repulsiveness of death was familiar to everyone, or if he’s speaking as a doctor who has seen all manner of things. I like this line.

The end of the winding-sheet was laid over the face; when the Professor bent over and turned it gently back, we both started at the beauty before us, the tall wax candles showing a sufficient light to note it well. All Lucy’s loveliness had come back to her in death, and the hours that had passed, instead of leaving traces of “decay’s effacing fingers,” had but restored the beauty of life, till positively I could not believe my eyes that I was looking at a corpse.

A funny little fish looking alarmed, complete with exclamation point and impact lines.

Thanks to Bruce for making this image.

“Death’s effacing fingers” is actually a line from Lord Byron’s The Giaour, which we talked a lot about in our first bonus post I think.

He who hath bent him o’er the dead
Ere the first day of Death is fled,
The first dark day of Nothingness,
The last of Danger and Distress,
(Before Decay’s effacing fingers
Have swept the lines where Beauty lingers,)
And marked the mild angelic air,
The rapture of Repose that’s there,
The fixed yet tender thraits that streak
The languor of the placid cheek,
And–but for that sad shrouded eye,
That fires not, wins not, weeps not, now,
And but for that chill, changeless brow,

Where cold Obstruction’s apathy
Appals the gazing mourner’s heart,
As if to him it could impart
The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon;
Yes, but for these and these alone,
Some moments, aye, one treacherous hour,
He still might doubt the Tyrant’s power;
So fair, so calm, so softly sealed,
The first, last look by Death revealed!
Such is the aspect of his shore;
’T is Greece, but living Greece no more!

Van Helsing brings Lucy the remaining garlic flowers and puts a crucifix on her mouth before replacing the sheet over her face.

Later, Van Helsing shows up at Dr. Lobotomy’s room, not for sex (this time) but to tell Dr. Lobotomy to bring him post-mortem knives. He wants to take Lucy’s corpse and cut off her head and cut out her heart, then put it all back in her coffin. Dr. Lobotomy, rightfully horrified, asks him why.

Friend John, I pity your poor bleeding heart; and I love you the more because it does so bleed.

I too love me a fictional suffering man.

Van Helsing implores Dr. Lobotomy to trust him like he has so far. “Let us not be two, but one, that so we work to a good end.”

Van Helsing says some seriously gay shit. I love it.

Dr. Lobotomy agrees to trust him and, when Van Helsing leaves, he notices a maid slipping into the room where Lucy’s body rests. This show of love and loyalty moves him.

Devotion is so rare, and we are so grateful to those who show it unasked to those we love. Here was a poor girl putting aside the terrors which she naturally had of death to go watch alone by the bier of the mistress whom she loved, so that the poor clay might not be lonely till laid to eternal rest….

This fondness to women and the workers around makes me so happy but it also makes me wonder about Stoker’s agenda by shining light on the maids so much.


Never mind, it comes up immediately after. In the morning, Van Helsing barges into Dr. Lobotomy’s room to tell him the procedure isn’t necessary because the crucifix was stolen in the night by a maid, and Van Helsing seized it back from her. As always, he tells Dr. Lobotomy nothing about what it means.

Mrs. Westenra’s lawyer shows up and tells them that she got her affairs in order and left everything to Arthur rather than Lucy. Apparently they’d argued with Mrs. Westenra about this a bit, concerned it would leave Lucy penniless, but she was firm. The lawyer is thrilled things have gone as they did, which disgusts Dr. Lobotomy.

He was a good fellow, but his rejoicing at the one little part—in which he was officially interested—of so great a tragedy, was an object-lesson in the limitations of sympathetic understanding.

Maybe it will help this doctor remember the limitations of his own sympathetic understanding.

I got confused for a bit because they start referring to someone called “Lord Godalming” who, thanks to google, I see now is Arthur himself because he’s inherited the title from his father, who is now deceased.

The undertaker sets up Mrs. Westenra in the room with Lucy and Dr. Lobotomy scolds him for it until he takes her back out again, which is a funny exchange and I don’t know why that’s here either, but maybe it’ll make sense later.

Dr. Lobotomy observes that Arthur is miserable. “[E]ven his stalwart manhood seemed to have shrunk somewhat under the strain of his much-tried emotions.”

Imagine being so sad that your dick shrinks. What a shame.

This whole scene is absurdly affectionate between Seward and Arthur. I’m going to resist pasting the whole thing.

Dr. Lobotomy goes to leave, giving Arthur a moment alone with Lucy, but Arthur stops him. Arthur takes Seward by the arm and brings him along, speaking “huskily” (I’m dead serious) that he loved Lucy too. Arthur breaks down and bawls into Dr. Lobotomy’s chest, arms around him. He laments that he doesn’t know what to live for anymore.

I comforted him as well as I could. In such cases men do not need much expression. A grip of the hand, the tightening of an arm over the shoulder, a sob in unison, are expressions of sympathy dear to a man’s heart.

Or you could give him a kiss? Just sayin.

They go to Lucy and Dr. Lobotomy lifts “the lawn from her face.” Is a “lawn”… a sheet?

So it is.

Dr. Lobotomy observes that Lucy is even more beautiful than before, and Arthur, shaken, asks if she’s really dead. He spends a little time saying his silent goodbyes. Dr. Lobotomy goes upstairs to tell Van Helsing when Arthur is done and Van Helsing sees to the undertaker closing the coffin.

The three men have dinner together and when Van Helsing begins to call Arthur “Lord Godalming,” Arthur interrupts him. He’s not ready to be called by his father’s title yet. Van Helsing handles him kindly, not sure what to call him because he now LOVES Arthur. They hold hands. This is becoming an ever more complicated polycule and no longer a woman to be seen anywhere. Arthur apologizes for being rude to him and Van Helsing understands that he hasn’t earned Arthur’s trust fully yet.

“I know it was hard for you to quite trust me then, for to trust such violence needs to understand; and I take it that you do not—that you cannot—trust me now, for you do not yet understand. And there may be more times when I shall want you to trust when you cannot—and may not—and must not yet understand. But the time will come when your trust shall be whole and complete in me, and when you shall understand as though the sunlight himself shone through. Then you shall bless me from first to last for your own sake, and for the sake of others and for her dear sake to whom I swore to protect.”

This sounds like something a cult leader would say, Professor.

Van Helsing asks Arthur if he knew Mrs. Westenra left everything to him. He did not. Van Helsing asks Arthur for permission to read Lucy’s diaries and papers, and Arthur agrees.

Van Helsing spends the night pacing the halls and keeping an eye on Lucy. Dr. Lobotomy says he sleeps on the sofa in Arthur’s room, which seems suspicious to me. You can just say you shared a bed. It’s fine. THERE’S ONLY ONE BED.

Man pats a hand on the sheets. He then raises his eyebrows suggestively, a smile on his face.

Where’d Quincey go and how can we get him in on this?

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